This week in my CSA box from the farm co-op I belong to I received a TON (well about 2 lbs actually) of collard greens. I also happened to have a giant ham hock in my freezer – the last remaining piece of the recent 1/2 a hog that we purchased from our favorite local pig farmers. I have been wondering what the heck to do with the ham hock, and now that I had a bountiful amount of collards – I was suddenly inspired – Southern Style Collard Greens! This is a dish I remember having as a child when we took a trip in a rented motor home and traveled from CA to New York, stopping at various states across the way. It was an incredible adventure and an incredible culinary adventure of sorts as well. So, here is my take on Southern Style Collard greens as I remember them. The end result turned out so satisfying, delicious and comforting – even good enough to hope for another huge supply of collard greens in my next CSA box!!
Southern Style Collard Greens
2 lbs collard greens
1 smoked ham hock (or 1 lb of diced bacon)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
2 teaspoons sea salt (optional)
In a large soup pot add the ham hock, onions, garlic powder, hot sauce and sea salt. Wash the collar greens and using your hands, tear the leaves away from the tough spine of each green. Roughly chop the greens and place in the pot. Add enough water to just cover the greens. Cover and bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour. When you serve the collards, shred some of the ham off the hock to eat with the greens and add some of the broth to the serving bowls as well. The broth by itself is amazing.